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Doongalik Studios and NAGB team up to help art students

Published: Aug 31, 2013

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Doongalik Studios Art Gallery and The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas have launched a community service initiative aimed at bridging the financial gap for art students attending government high schools in their respective areas. 

Recent conversations with art educators revealed that due to the high cost of materials, students are opting out of art courses or attending classes without even the most rudimentary supplies, according to the initiative’s organizers. 

“In a country with a burgeoning art community and a wealth of talent, this deficit was begging to be addressed.  With the establishment of The Art Supply Drive, the galleries intend to relieve a portion of the burden and facilitate the students' creative expression,” they said.

During the back-to-school season, the galleries will be collecting new or gently-used art supplies, as well as monetary donations, on-site, and will present them to L.W. Young and C.R. Walker high schools this fall.  
“The students will not only appreciate what will be given but we, the teachers, will motivate them to produce high quality pieces,” said Elkino Dames, art teacher at L.W. Young High School.

Assistant Education Officer at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas Jordia Benjamin hopes that the Art Supply Drive will inspire true community participation.  

“With such a dearth of materials in the classroom, even a nominal contribution of an eraser or art pencil can have an impact, and no supplies will be refused,” she said. 

Materials in high demand include pencils, sketch paper, colored pencils, erasers, charcoal, watercolors, brushes, small canvases, acrylics, clay and pastels.  

“Of course, as a matter of convenience, we will also accept monetary donations and can purchase supplies on behalf of contributors,” said Benjamin. 

One hundred percent of the proceeds from The Art Supply Drive will go directly into the hands of young Bahamian artists at the two schools.

Orchid Burnside of Doongalik Studios Art Gallery is already looking forward to the future of The Art Supply Drive. 

“Should this venture prove successful, we hope to host the drive annually, involving more galleries and adopting more schools,” said Burnside. “Eventually, we hope to also send supplies throughout the archipelago and support the next generation of visual artists in this country.  As a community, we have an excellent opportunity, and perhaps an obligation, to make this small impact in the art education system. Your involvement can help us put a paintbrush in a child's hand. You can help us drive the dream.”

• Supplies can be dropped off at either gallery location.  The hours of operation at the NAGB are Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. or Sunday, 12–4 p.m.  Doongalik Studios will be accepting donations Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., or Saturday, until 1 p.m. For more information, please contact Orchid Burnside at 394–1886, email: doongalikart@batelnet.bs or Jordia Benjamin at 328-5800, email: jbenjamin@nagb.org.bs.

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